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Monday, May 16, 2011

All Four of Lady Gaga's New Songs, Including "Hair," Ranked in Order of Greatness

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2011 at 4:57 PM


"Hair" came out today. No, you're not balding -- it's the latest in that steady flow of new songs from the Lady Gaga camp, leading up to the release next week of Born This Way, the Queen Monster's second proper album. So far, you'll recall, we've been "Born This Way," introduced to "Judas," pushed to "The Edge of Glory," and grown into "Hair." (Well, not sure if we've grown into it, exactly -- the song has been out for only a few hours, and so many of you are listening to it that the YouTube play counter seems to be broken, halted at a hilarious 307. This for a song that already has more than 13,000 likes ... but anyway.)

Gaga is a confounding beast these days: If we can proceed on the seemingly not-too-controversial premise that "Bad Romance" is the high-water mark (in terms of style, catchiness, boundary-pushing, and mysterious allure, etc.), then it seems almost obvious that none of these new songs reaches it. (That, anyway, is our initial conclusion -- with the dangers of premature evaluation hereby acknowledged.)

Risks aside, we thought that the occasion of a new Gaga tune warrants a quick run through the songs from Born This Way released so far. So, as your high school math teacher said, let us review -- in ascending order of greatness, or some vaguely positive quality.

4. "Born This Way" (Disappointing)

In which Gaga's real-life personality and earnestness overwhelm the veil of unreality that makes the Highbrow Popstar construct feasible. Quite simply, a vanilla hook built on humdrum club-pop fails to become memorable. Her good lyrical intentions are laudable, but awkward for a dancefloor anthem. The skeleton costumes in this video, however, are rad.

3. "The Edge of Glory" (Amusing)

Attempted Springsteenian epic (but minus the actual narrative), ornamented with a magnificent sax solo by the Boss' own man. Big and overwrought and pandering, but consciously so, and hey, success is success, even when you're aiming at large-caliber cheese.

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Ian S. Port


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